By James Ker-Lindsay
While Abdullah Ocalan, chief of the Kurdistan staff' social gathering (PKK), used to be arrested in February 1999 it marked a turning element in kin among Greece and Turkey. because the country's such a lot sought after guy, his arrest was once greeted with jubilation all through so much of Turkey. besides the fact that, it additionally resulted in a public outcry whilst it emerged that he have been captured leaving the Greek Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. This used to be noticeable as definitive evidence that the Greek executive were supporting and abetting the PKK. within the days and weeks that the arrest, kin among the Aegean neighbours sank to their lowest point because the summer time of 1974, whilst Athens and Ankara had come to the edge of struggle over Cyprus.Yet, via the tip of the yr, the image couldn't were extra various. an unbelievable sequence of occasions that incorporated a neighborhood clash, significant failures and the dying of a senior Greek flesh presser had ended in an entire transformation within the kin among the 2 nations. The crowning second of this modification got here in December while Greece dropped its long-standing competition to Turkish candidacy for ecu club. How did this striking swap take place? Who should still take the credits? And what did it suggest for diplomatic family members within the japanese Mediterranean? this is often the tale of the way international locations all started down a route to peace after many years of hysteria and hostility and the way, over the process one enormous 12 months, kin among Greece and Turkey went from the edge of clash to an remarkable confirmation of friendship and cohesion.
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Additional resources for Crisis and Conciliation: A Year of Rapproachement Between Greece and Turkey
By 31 January a military confrontation appeared to be more and more likely. Both countries had sent a number of warships to the vicinity, with more on the way. At the same time the two air forces had engaged in a number of mock dogfights over the Aegean. On the political front Greece had produced a 1954 Turkish map that clearly indicated the islet of Imia to be outside of Turkish territorial waters. Nevertheless, Çiller remained adamant that the islet was Turkish and that the Greek flag should be taken down and Greek forces be withdrawn.
After having managed to evade Turkey’s reach in Syria, Russia and Italy, the fact that he was arrested after having been under Greek protection was a major source of embarrassment in its own right. 7 However, perhaps most significantly, it was clear that the incident would inevitably lead to a crisis BILATERAL AND REGIONAL CRISES 37 with Turkey. 8 Unsurprisingly, Simitis now came under intense pressure to resign. In an attempt to keep on to his job, the Greek prime minister instead dismissed a number of those most closely linked to the debacle.
If this were not possible the point of demarcation would be the meridian line between the two. Greece signed up to the convention. But the Turkish Government, concerned about the implications of the agreements given the large number of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, refused to agree. 33 Under this definition, the Turkish continental shelf stretched westwards into the Aegean past a number of Greek islands. At first this difference did not pose a problem. Given the good relations between the two countries, the matter remained dormant.